When we hosted the Walk for Talk last year, we focused on building up the communal aspect of the walk, somehow bringing all those with SD and related voice conditions together, under one united front to showcase the cause of awareness. World Voice Day, which is TODAY, April 16, invites us all to shine a spotlight on the impact that voice-related issues have on a person. All of you living with SD and related voice conditions know that the onset of a voice condition is absolutely life-altering. However, most of us live our lives not appreciating the importance of voice.

• The voice is a crucial element in the daily work of about 30% of the population
• Voice is one of the main tools for emotional communication
• Having the capacity to speak and project sound makes a critical difference in the way people are treated and perceived
• Our voice is used to infer our intelligence, desires, determination, confidence and influence
• An emotive voice imparts intent and meaning
• A functioning voice is a significant contributor to quality of life
• Artistic expression of speech and song are integral to every relationship and culture of the world
• Both humans and animals depend on vocal communication
• The voice is unique, revealing and central to a person’s ability to change the world

The theme of World Voice Day in 2021 is One World | Many Voices. This year, the goal is to bring the awareness of the fact that a voice condition can happen to anyone, anywhere in the world. On our special World Voice Day web page, we included videos of people from different countries who live with a voice disorder explaining how it is different living with a voice disorder in their country. We uploaded a stunning map of the world with a marker in all the places where the NSDA has connected with someone with a voice disorder. Check it out, because it is awe-inspiring how far the NSDA reach has become and emphasizes how we are all connected by voice conditions.

I encourage you to build awareness for voice conditions this weekend in honor of World Voice Day. Tell someone you just met about your voice disorder. Post something on your social media account. Share a video on Snapchat. Wear your Walk for Talk t-shirt. This is a perfect opportunity to enhance awareness, and your voice is the vehicle that powers that mission.